A lot of people become dependent on many natural substances, like marijuana, or drugs that are created from a natural substance, like opium poppy. However, an endless amount of people have become dependent on synthetic drugs, which continue to cause adverse problems and millions to lose their lives each year. Understanding what synthetic drugs are may help people better understand their inherent dangers and prevent them from impacting the lives of you and your loved ones.
In this article, we will focus on discussing what synthetic drugs are, why they are addictive, how they become so dangerous, and what you can do about it. At West Coast Recovery Centers, we focus on helping people recover and heal from substance use disorder (SUD). Consider our treatment program to help overcome your addiction to synthetic drugs today.
What Are Synthetic Drugs?
There are many individuals struggling with all types of drug addiction, but addiction to synthetic drugs has become increasingly more common. According to the Better Health Channel, these drugs “mimic the effects of existing illicit drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, or LSD. Additionally, these drugs have a different chemical structure than other illicit drugs. The structures also often change for many reasons.
Though some automatically associate synthetic substances with being illegal, many can be marketed as legal and sage “alternatives to illicit drugs.” Unfortunately, despite the marketing, synthetic drugs are not always legal or safe. Research also indicates that they are not regulated; further, this lack of regulation makes the matter more problematic.
There are many categories of synthetic substances ranging from cannabinoids to benzodiazepines. Yet, one of the most serious problems nowadays involves an increase in the use and abuse of synthetic opioids, as noted by the current state of the opioid epidemic.
Understanding the Problem of Synthetic Opioids
Opioids are a class of drugs that includes synthetic, illegal, and prescription. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) describes synthetic opioids as “substances that are synthesized in a laboratory and that act on the same targets in the brain as natural opioids.” Common drugs causing problems within the addiction crisis are fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioids.
Synthetic opioids are making the current opioid epidemic even worse for many reasons. For starters, healthcare providers have been overprescribing opioids for many years. This causes the development of SUD, and when individuals run out of those pills, they turn to the street for illegal, synthetic substances.
Another component to consider when it comes to synthetic opioids and drugs is the risk of overdose. Overdose is one of many ways that synthetic drugs are harming people.
How Are Synthetic Drugs Harming People Today?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) claims that overdose death rates involving opioids, including synthetic opioids, are continuing to rise. A drug overdose is when someone takes more than a “normal or recommended amount of drugs or other substances.” It can be dangerous and cause many harmful symptoms or result in death.
Unfortunately, many overdoses are accidental. For instance, when an individual has been sober for a while and experienced a relapse, they may be at a greater risk for an overdose. Because their body is no longer accustomed to that substance, it becomes too much for the body to handle.
The risk of synthetic drug overdose has always been a cause for concern among individuals in recovery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), data and research indicate that about 100,306 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States from April 2020 to April 2021. Though some of this increase is due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still concerning why so many across the country are experiencing an overdose.
Despite the risks of overdose, treatment can help you prepare and prevent relapse which may lead to an overdose. Yet, what can you expect from treatment for an addiction to synthetic drugs?
Seeking Treatment for an Addiction to Synthetic Drugs
Seek addiction treatment looks different for everyone, whether you are seeking treatment for an addiction to a synthetic or natural drug. However, before you can seek treatment, you must recognize the signs within yourself or a loved one.
Someone addicted to synthetic drugs will spend more time seeking, using, and recovering from those substances. You may also experience other symptoms or recognize signs, such as the development of mental and physical health conditions.
Upon recognizing the signs, you can begin seeking help. Thankfully, many addiction treatment facilities and programs are equipped to handle an addiction to synthetic drugs. Still, you will need to decide what course of treatment is right for you. Are you looking for a holistic approach to treatment? Do you require around-the-clock care during detox within a facility? Is medication-assisted treatment (MAT) something you are looking for in a program to help you manage withdrawal symptoms? These are questions that can help you determine what program is the right fit for your long-term recovery goals.
Synthetic drugs pose a serious threat to the lives of millions across the country, but help is available. Consider West Coast Recovery Centers to start your path to recovery from synthetic substances today.
Synthetic drugs pose a serious threat to the lives of millions across the country, putting individuals struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) at an increased risk of experiencing a fatal overdose or development of a number of other mental and physical health conditions. While the risk of overdose is always present if someone experiences relapse, treatment, and recovery are the only ways to obtain a life free from the confines of synthetic drug addiction. If you are experiencing an addiction to one of the many categories of synthetic drugs circulating through the country, consider treatment. Call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 or visit our website to start your healing journey over recovery today.